8 November 2011
of the Legislative Council
HALL (Western Tiers -
Motion) - Madam President, I move -
the Legislative Council calls
upon the Tasmanian Government to introduce a container deposit
system, similar to South Australia, and as recommended by the former
Joint Standing Committee on Environment, Resources and Development in
its 2006 report entitled Waste Management in Tasmania.
Mr FINCH (Rosevears)
- I do not wish to sound green, Madam President, but I support the
member for Western Tiers on this one. It is a no-brainer really.
first thing to say about this motion is that the container deposit
system has worked in South Australia for many years and if it works
well there, then it is going to work well here in Tasmania and around
the rest of Australia. It is obvious that a container deposit system
in Tasmania would be opposed by some members of the container and
retailing industry but I think that you have only to walk along the
verges of our highways. Members might recall some speeches that I
have made about littering on the West Tamar Highway; it is
interesting to see the mess of plastic and metal cans and glass
bottles and even worse along our highways. Whilst the member for
Western Tiers was talking I recalled many years ago going to Savage
River to a Back to Savage River gathering and as I was driving into
Savage River I could see all these plastic bags along the highway and
then I saw a figure down over the bank.
stopped to have a talk and he was a mining engineer, new to the
location and, if you know that road that goes into Savage River, the
verges grow really well with all the rainfall, nine feet of rain a
year, so you cannot see down over the bank. But he, with previous
experience, had taken the trouble to go down over the bank to recover
this rubbish that Tasmanians throw out of their windows over the
bank. Of course, it disappears. But if you are riding a bike or if
you are walking along the verge you only have to look down and here
we were at Savage River, fairly remote, but the rubbish that this guy
was collecting off the side of the road, there would have been a big
plastic bag of rubbish, I do not want to exaggerate here, probably
every 50 metres.
was a story about the chap and people possibly know the story but he
spent his spare time collecting that rubbish and he was a newcomer to
Tasmania and he realised the damage that it was doing to what
otherwise was a beautiful place.
Dean - The question to be
asked here is how much of that rubbish would be diminished if we had
this container deposit - probably not much at all.
FINCH - The rubbish would
still be high, but you are having a crack at it, aren't you? You are
having a crack of getting rid of the rubbish and getting people into
the mindset of recycling, as the member for Western Tiers talked
have been talking to a friend recently from Western Australia and he
remembers as a kid when his father was driving the kids along and
they are eating and drinking things in the car and he would say,
'Throw it out the window, don't mess up the car'. The dad was quite
prepared to mess up the highway but he did not want to mess up the
car. That is the sort of change that we have made and we still have a
way to go.
might be as the member for Windermere said, there might still be
rubbish there but certainly you will not have the plastic bottles,
the tins and the glass bottles if you have a situation where it is in
people's psyche and the kids' minds that they can turn that into
will talk more about that in a moment. There have been various types
of container deposit around Australia in the past and some will argue
that in the days of returnable milk bottles and beer bottles which
were made more solidly and returned to breweries for cleaning and
refilling, we had less of that situation occurring.
of this sort of legislation will argue that this is the world of
plastic and the deposit system will not work as well nowadays. Well,
it works in South Australia. It works in South Australia and it will
work here and it will work in the rest of Australia also.
a deposit system would see Tasmanian beer bottles made more strongly
for reuse rather than smashing and melting. Perhaps we would see more
glass and less plastic. But whatever else, we would certainly see
less trash along our roadsides, I believe, less plastic and glass
going into landfill and it would probably engender a sense of value
of packaging itself.
was a time, Madam President, as the member for Western Tiers was
recalling and it was sparking everybody's imagination too about the
time when Tasmania's main breweries, Boags and Cascade, combined
their bottle brand under what was known as the Tasma label. The necks
of their reusable amber bottles had an embossed map of Tasmania with
the Tasma brand printed across it. I think they were withdrawn in
about the mid-1980s in favour of the more flimsy glass bottles that
we use these days. You will find them still being used in many
households because of the strength of the bottle, and used for
brewing your own beer for those who make beer as a hobby. Also the
little stubbies from South Australia, the Coopers bottles, have
strong glass and they are used by many who have that hobby.
of those present in this House might even have been around long
enough to remember the bottle-ohs who used to call house to house
collecting empty beer bottles and then hand over the cash. That money
would often go to the kids who kept the bottle stack in order. I
remember growing up in Fern Tree and during the footy season we would
earn money to go to Queenborough to watch the Seagulls play. I think
that was well past the honourable member for Nelson's time. He had
been a footballer and long gone by the time I as a child came along
to watch the mighty Seagulls.
Wilkinson - I wasn't even
a twinkle in my parents' eye at that stage.
FINCH - We used to sit up
in the hedge. During the off-season we used the money to go to the
pictures at the old His Majesty's Theatre in Liverpool Street, which
was known as the 'Bug House'. I could tell you some stories about
those days. Collecting beer bottles enabled us to earn the money to
do those things as kids. At various times in various States there was
a deposit on lemonade and soft drink bottles as well, which could be
regained by taking them back to the shop.
Rattray - That's the era
I can remember.
FINCH - That was a
bonanza for kids back in those days, recycling that could occur and
come to the front of people's minds if we are able to get this motion
to have an impact nationally. Nostalgia aside, I think the honourable
member for Western Tiers is on a winner with this motion. Clean up
our roadsides, stop the waste and perhaps provide Tasmanian kids with
that pocket money that they can earn for themselves. I heartily
support this motion and urge the Government to act on container
gone by the time I as a child came along to watch the mighty